Millionaire Whines on Facebook, Creates Social Media Backlash

A millionaire saw the backlash of poor form on Facebook this weekend.

Gurbaksh Chahal posted to his Facebook page that his car dealer messed up his Ferrari. “Why does this crap always happen to me?” pouted the man worth over $300 million.

Chahal is indeed very accomplished, having sold his first company, ClickAgents, a performance-based advertising network, to ValueClick in 2000, making Chahal a very rich man. Then, he created Blue Lithium, which he sold to Yahoo! in ’07 making him an extremely rich man. And, good for him. American way, up with capitalism, and all that jazz.

But, then, he took to Facebook Friday to complain about his car getting damaged by the Ferrari dealership. Now, I’m not trying to take anything away from his complaint. It’s a very expensive car and I would certainly be angry if my much, MUCH less expensive Acura was damaged at the dealership. But, there is something rather unbecoming about a man whining about his quarter of a million dollar car when millions of people in America remain out of work and the entire world is waiting to see if our economy will collapse again under petty political punditry. So, of course, his complaining quickly went viral with everyone from small bloggers to Gawker telling the tale.

The part of this story that jumped out at me was that one of his friends, coming to his defense with genuine concern, suggests Chahal leverage the “power of Twitter” to get even with the dealership. Ironically, it was the power of Twitter and Facebook that had the opposite effect and created a storm of bad press.

So, remember what I’ve always said, people. Context is king. And, the context of a rich man’s dented car versus people going to bed hungry is what turned a king into a court jester in a matter of minutes.

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